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Pleasure for Pleasure (Essex Sisters Series #4)

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Overview

Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should—she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss . . . and is caught!

She doesn't want to marry the young hellion—but who's to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on ...

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Pleasure for Pleasure (Essex Sisters Series #4)

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Overview

Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should—she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss . . . and is caught!

She doesn't want to marry the young hellion—but who's to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip; and his friend the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancée.

Can a marriage forced by stuffy convention and unwilling desire become the match of the season?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the final installment in her Four Sisters series (after Taming of the Duke), James tells the story of Josie, the only Essex sister yet unmarried. Nicknamed the "Scottish Sausage" by a rejected suitor, Josie believes that no man will ever seriously court her because her figure is too ample. When Josie is insulted at a ball, Garret, earl of Mayne, whisks Josie back to his home where his friendly tutelage on attracting a man results in a fleeting moment of passion. But Garret is engaged to a beautiful, genteel French aristocrat, having abandoned his former rakish ways. As Josie begins attracting various suitors and Garret wrestles with his feelings for her, an intriguing subplot has the ton speculating on the identity of the "earl of Hellgate," whose scandalous, anonymous memoirs have been making the rounds. James is skilled at bringing her characters fully to life, gracing Josie's feelings of inadequacy and Mayne's false sense of love with the believable, individual quirks that draw them to each other. Engaging humor and steamy romance give this captivating regency a fine polish. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060781927
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Series: Essex Sisters Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 281,177
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Eloisa James

A New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James is a professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is a honest to goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa's website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence.

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Read an Excerpt

Pleasure for Pleasure


By Eloisa James

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Eloisa James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060781920

Chapter One

An extract from the widely proclaimed memoir:
The Earl of Hellgate,
or Night Scenes Amongst the Ton

Dear Reader,

As I would loathe to shock and dismay you, I must beg all ladies of a delicate disposition to put down this volume on the moment.

I have lived a life of Immoderate Passion, and have been persuaded to share the particulars in the hopes of keeping any susceptible gentlepersons from following in my steps . . .

Oh Reader, Beware!

May 24, 1818
15 Grosvenor Square
London residence of the Duke of Holbrook

There was no way to introduce the subject with delicacy, at least none that Josie could imagine. "None of the novels I've read elaborate on the wedding night," she told her sisters.

"I should hope not!" her eldest sister Tess said, not even looking at her.

"So if we're going to discuss Imogen's wedding night, I'm not leaving."

"It wouldn't be appropriate for you to join us," Tess said, with the rather wearied air of someone who has said the same on two former occasions. After all, of the four Essex sisters, Tess, Annabel, Imogen, and Josie, there was only one left unmarried: Josie.

"We'll give you all the details you need on the eve of your marriage," Imogen put in. "I don't need the talk. I am a widow, after all."

They were seated around a small table in the nursery, having a light supper. Josie's chaperone, Lady Griselda, was technically dining with them as well, but since she had spent most of the evening huddled in an armchair reading the Earl of Hellgate's memoirs, she hadn't taken more than a bite, nor contributed to the conversation a whit.

They were eating by themselves because Imogen had heard it might cause misfortune to see her groom on the night before the wedding, and since Imogen was marrying their guardian, the Duke of Holbrook, they couldn't eat in the dining room. Technically, Annabel's son Samuel was a member of the party, but since he was all of four months old and dreaming of a red shiny ball, an occasional longing snort were his only contributions.

"If my season continues as it's begun," Josie said, "I shan't be married at all. One can hardly obtain one's entire education in the ways of men and women from the pages of novels."

"Tess, did you know that Josie has made a list of efficacious ways to catch a husband?" Annabel asked, taking a final bite of syllabub.

"Based on our examples?" Tess said, raising an eyebrow.

"That would be a remarkably short list," Josie said. "Lady is compromised, gentleman is forced to marry her, marriage ensues."

"I was not compromised by my husband," Tess said, but she was laughing.

"You married Lucius only after the Earl of Mayne jilted you at the altar," Josie said. "It wasn't precisely a long courtship period. All of ten minutes, as I recall."

The smile in Tess's eyes suggested that those ten minutes had been sweet, and Josie didn't want to think about that because it made her feel jealous. If she, Josie, were jilted at the altar, there'd be no secondary candidate waiting in the next room. In fact, given her disastrous performance on the marriage market, the altar was likely a prospect she should discard.

"It's true that I was compromised," Annabel said, "but Imogen is marrying Rafe for pure love and after a long courtship."

"I suggested we elope," Imogen said, grinning, "but Rafe said he'd be damned if he'd follow in Draven's footsteps and allow me to direct all the wedding traffic to Scotland."

"He was right," Tess said. "You're going to be a duchess. You couldn't marry in such a hurly-burly fashion."

"Yes, we could have."

"But think of all the pleasure you would have denied the ton," Josie said. "The prime enjoyment of the season so far has been watching Rafe stare at you longingly from the side of the ballroom. Now, are we going to discuss your wedding night, or not? Because there are marked gaps in my knowledge."

"There are no gaps in my knowledge," Imogen said, "so--"

"I knew it!" Josie said. "You and Rafe anticipated the night, didn't you? Oh, the shame!" She threw a dramatic hand up to her brow. "My sister lies prostrate under her guardian."

"Josephine Essex!" Tess said, suddenly turning into the eldest sister who'd raised them all. "If I hear you say such a coarse thing in the future, I shall--I shall swat you!"

Josie grinned. "I was merely demonstrating that the gaps in my knowledge do not have to do with mechanics."

"Anything else will have to be learned on the fly, darling," Annabel said. She had gone over to the crib and scooped up Samuel. Now she was comfortably snuggled into a deep chair, feet up and casually crossed at her slender ankles, cuddling the baby. He was used to such manhandling and slept on.

Josie knew that she should do a better job at curbing the wild flares of jealousy that periodically gripped her. Yet all she had to do was look from one to another of her three sisters to feel the pinch as sharply as frozen toes while skating. All three of them were slim. Well, Annabel wasn't precisely slim, but she carried her curves splendidly. All of them were (or soon would be) happily married. Two of them married titles, and if Tess's husband didn't have a title, he was the richest man in England and anyone with common sense would agree that such wealth trumped a coronet.

"I'm serious," Josie said, pulling her mind back to the subject at hand. "Annabel, you're only here for the wedding, and Imogen is leaving on her marriage trip directly. What if I have to marry quickly? You won't be here to give me advice."



Continues...

Excerpted from Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James Copyright © 2006 by Eloisa James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 76 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 77 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    delightful Essex sister Regency romance

    When the Essex sisters came to London the four were unmarried now in 1818 there is only one, Josephine as her siblings have found their mates. However, her chances are slim, a most misfortunate word as her nickname amidst the Ton is the ¿Scottish Sausage¿, which she was dubbed because of a corset and a friend of a rejected suitor. While her sisters and her guardian are distracted by love and are off on honeymoons, Josie discards the corset, which in turn frees her beautiful body from its imprisonment. Though his engagement is falling apart as his fiancée Sylvie does not seem to want to marry him, Lord Garret Langham gets involved with protecting his family friend, the not so little Josie, from an angry attacker. When she rejects the failed assaulter Thurman¿s forced proposal, Garret offers marriage too. She accepts his as she knows she loves him. However, as she learns what love is, Josie knows she must free her beloved Garret so he can be with his Sylvie. --- The fourth Essex sister Regency romance is a delightful tale of love and hate amongst the Ton. The love is not obvious to comprehend as readers will agree with Josie that Garret wants Sylvie not her the hate is easier to spot as Thurman blames his failures as a witty name caller on Josie. Readers will obtain plenty of pleasure from Eloisa James¿ final Essex saga. --- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Best sort of Cinderella story!

    I really loved this book, better the any other in the series, because it has all my favorite ingredients. A transformed rake, a curvy heroine, meddling family, self esteem issues and of course scandal. Watching Josie, finally tame the Earl of Mayne is worth reading and I promise you will fall in love with this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

    I have been an avid romance novel reader and this is by far one of the most disappointing that I have read. On reading the summary provided I was intrigued and couldn't wait to jump into the novel. Unfortunately, James' writing style was a bit drab and contained more details than necessary. I also did not know or read the prior novels in the series and was rather annoyed that the she kept giving details on the other sisters.
    I had anticipated reading about Josie and was not happy when a good portion of the novel was about a parallel love story that I wasn't interested in.
    The ending was anti-climatic and just down right retarded as I couldn't understand how Josie's love interest, after professing his love for another over the course of the novel, had miraculously fallen into her arms and at her feet after just a few interactions. Bottom line, I wanted to put this book down after a few chapters but kept reading in hopes that it would get better but it didn't.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    This is one of my favorite books of all time!!!!!!!

    READ IT !!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    All time favorite

    A book I read when I can't decide what to read. This book just keeps me comin back. Top 5... must have

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    My Favorite EJ Book

    I've read this book many times because I just love it. Josie is a wonderful heroine. The book has humor, drama, bad guys and retribution, twists and turns. Read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Best bk from James by FAR..

    I have read every book that Eloisa James has written. And this is my absolute favorite of them all. I loved Josie and Mayne. The whole series was wonderful but I could identify w/ Josie the most. (for I'm a very curvy woman) I loved that she ended up w/ Mayne and most of the ending.. The best ending in any romance book that I have ever read!!!! You must read this whole series. Don't think that you can just pick this one up w/o reading the first 3. That's just silly!! My 2 favorite character's from all 4 books.. Lot's of twists in here that I didn't see coming.. And to find out who wrote that blasted book.. ha ha! This is a must read if you love E. James's books you have to read this one..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2006

    Did I read the same book???

    This is the second Eloisa James romance I read and I am never making this mistake again!!! Bad enough that she had to actually 'fix' her former book with a belated on-line chapter - who has ever heard of that?!? - because no one, not even I, could figure out how a woman who has been been in love with someone else throughout the book suddenly tells the hero that he's the one she's always wanted. Oh, please... In this 'masterpiece' it gets worse. The hero doesn't even love the heroine for 90% of the book!!! When did the transition happen, James? I can't wait to read the 'fixer-upper' chapter you'll add later on - or not! Yuck. This author has no idea what romances are about. Also, I find James's heroines to be distinctly unlikable and childish. And finally, the writing style: in her meticulous attempts to make her books sound authentic, James comes up with the most overly complicated, knotted, convoluted phrazes possible. Which makes me wonder if those who liked the book weren't in fact trying to gloss over the fact that they didn't get a word she wrote. I've read authentic books from the 19th, 18th, 12th centuries. This is not great English, folks!!! Check out Oscar Wilde - short, delightful, clever sentences that go down in history. This book is gonna go down the you-know-what. My advice: pass!

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    Great Fun

    One of my favorites in this series! Lighthearted yet very dramatic! Another win fot Eloisa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Great series

    Nice

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Ok

    Good ensemble of characters, fairly bland storyline.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Great Series

    I love series where you get a more in depth knowledge of the characters as they interact through the various story lines.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    Great Story

    Good story- it lagged a little before it got to their marriage but in all, worth the read.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    Ok

    It was ok. I didnt feel a connection between mayne and josie. Felt forced

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Ending!

    The best one of them all...great story and good writing. So pleased with Josie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    THE BEST

    This book was by far the best! Absolutely LOVED it!! I found myself hurrying through the book trying to get to the end! I'm so happy she tied up all the loose ends and everyone got their happy ending! I've loved Josie's character from the very beginning because she's the one I could most identify with...loved her biting humor and quick comebacks! Best book in the series by far!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    Must Read!

    I loved this book! The author is so witty and the book so well written. The best of the series. It is a pleasure to read the books of Eloisa James.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2007

    Fantastic! Great Read!

    This is one of Eloisa James' best novels! I love Josie as the heroine, and I've been waiting for Mayne's story for a long time! Highly recommend this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2007

    Delightful Regency Pleasure!

    Every Eloisa James book is a delight, as she has a special talent for adding a touch of magic that makes each story and group of characters become more enchanting as the book before. This last installment in the Essex Sisters series is no different. It lives up to its name Pleasure for Pleasure, page for page. The whole Scottish Sausage storyline kicks off a domino effect of events that are fun, entertaining, and sexy, with a touch of mystery. Josie gets tagged with the name of the Scottish Sausage early in the season by a group of young bucks led by Lord Charles Darlington. It is her 'new look' from the modiste Madame Badeau that begins with the special corset contraption that creates the 'sausage' look and dresses loaded with seams, created to hide Josie's full figure. The whole family is together for the wedding event of Josie's guardian 'Rafe' Raphael Jourdain, the Duke of Holbrook to her sister Imogen. So they meet and try to solve the problem of Josie being ostracized out of the season by this name calling and cuts at recent ton events. The widowed Lady Griselda, family friend, Josie's chaperone, and Earl of Mayne's sister, steps in to help with a plan to flirt with the young Lord Darlington and put him in his place. The flirtation leads to lust, desire, passion and love, with an eventual struggle of the older woman with the younger man relationship. Lord Darlington's chase is sexy and adds extra depth and meaning to the story. Garrett Langham, the Earl of Mayne, the infamous lover of the ton, is now engaged and apparently in love with a french woman Lady Sylvie. Now that his friend Rafe is away on his honeymoon and he considers Josie a friend, he steps in to help Josie through this social and personal crisis. While helping her Garrett comes to realize that he is becoming attracted to this young lady which he feels is breathtaking with her lush figure, beautifully curved laughing mouth, and intelligent eyes. After Garrett's guidance and a new modiste many young men are now attracted to Josie and she becomes a social success. He now feels it is time to push towards his marriage, but soon finds behind the virtuous manner of his Lady Sylvie is a woman who has no passion for him. His engagement and hopes for marriage ends, but when Josie is attacked by one of the young men in Lord Darlington's former group, Garrett comes to her rescue and feels he must save her from social ruin and marries her. Josie, who recognizes her attraction to Garrett agrees with the marriage hoping the attraction, passion and desire will turn into love. They both soon realize they have been attracted to each other for many years, but the age difference and close family relationships were separating their true feelings from coming to the surface. Having the two simultaneous passionate romances of Charles/Giselda and Garrett/Josie evolving together with the side mystery of the popular book everyone in the ton is reading and speculating about 'The Earl of Hellgate or Night Scenes Amongst the Ton' is masterful. Having an excerpt of the book to start each chapter adds even more fun to the total story. Speculation as to who is the author and who is Hellgate has the whole ton buzzing. It even effects Josie, as she feels Garrett is Hellgate and how can she in her young, inexperienced life keep this passionate, experienced lover? The ending culminates with how Josie comes to terms with her love and marriage and the discovery of the author of the infamous book about Hellgate. The discovery of the author is a surprise, but what is most expected is a another good story from Eloisa James that is a pleasure to read. The whole Essex Sisters series is a Regency delight that will be read and re-read for years to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2006

    IT WAS AWESOME!!!

    I have read all the books in the Essex sisters series it truly met and exceeded all of my expectations for this final book of this series. Eloisa James has managed to link at least one of the characters to one of her previous books, Mayne was one of those rogues with a heart of gold in the previous books and I was so glad they gave him the lead in this one with Josephine as the heroine she truly is the most complex of all the sisters and she deserved just that type of leading man. I admire her spirit and her true woman body type. Bravo, Ms. James I am a fan for life because of this book . I also love that finally Griselda was highlighted in this one , she is truly the kind of chaperone every girl should have. I can't wait until the next series of books if there is one I hope it is in the same caliber as these books have been. I have to go read all of these books over again because I miss these characters already.

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